Tuesday, 12 December 2017

High Tea and 91 cent yoghurt

I love going to High Tea. There's something magical about the whole experience. Each year a group of friends and l go to High Tea in Summer and in Winter.
Now, you may be wondering what all this has to do with yoghurt.
This is my yoghurt maker. Yes, l make my own yoghurt. Most commercial yoghurts contain added sugar and can be expensive. The weekly cost of my yoghurt is 91 cents and this is the result.

I make a creamy Greek yoghurt. The yoghurt maker came from Aldi and all l have to do is fill it to a certain level with boiling water and then leave to do its magic. I buy the milk powder in bulk which only leaves the milk and l buy that in bulk from Aldi too.
1 litre of Aldi Greek Yoghurt works out to roughly $4.20 per litre. Mine is 91 cents per litre giving me a saving of $3.29. It doesn't sound like much, but, saved up over the year, it pays for my bi-yearly High Teas.
 
It's a win win bonus for me; no added sugar, tastes delicious and it's cheaper than commercial brands.
What's not to love.
If you want to make your own you will need a yoghurt maker and a few spoonfuls of a yoghurt with live cultures in it.Some recipes cook the yoghurt on the stove, and you can make it this way, l just find it easier to use a maker that just needs water added. So why not give it a try. My recipe is:
Recipe
1 litre full cream milk
6 heaped tablespoons of full cream milk powder
1 heaped tablespoon of starter
Method
Place 500mls of milk in your container and add the milk powder. Mix to combine. Add the starter and mix well. Keep a few tablespoons of this mixture to use as the starter for your next batch. Add the remaining 500mls of milk and mix again to combine. Seal the container and place in the yoghurt maker with boiling water. Leave the yoghurt for at least 8 hours( l make mine at night and don't touch it before 7am the next morning). Tip the water out and give the yoghurt a stir before placing it in the fridge. Eat and enjoy.

I like thick yoghurt and this is a thick yoghurt. If you like a looser mixture reduce the milk powder to 4 or 5 tablespoons. My yoghurt maker is like a big thermos, your yoghut maker may be different so follow the instructions for your maker.
Sometimes little savings made by cooking from scratch don't sound like much, but, they all add up. Simple living, frugal living means healthier foods and money saved to be spent on what's important to me. There are start up costs with the purchase of the yoghurt maker and you need a living yoghurt to begin with. My maker was purchased at Aldi, wasn't that expensive, and is still going strong 5 years later. Once you make your first batch you keep some of the mixture for the next batch that you make. It's a bit like making sourdough bread; keep the starter and make it again and again. Milk powder and long life milk can be bought in bulk which all keeps the cost low and, NO ADDED SUGAR.
That's simple living 101.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Christmas baking

It's that time of year again. Christmas is fast approaching and l have started my annual baking.
Chances are, if you are receiving a gift from me, it will be homemade with more than one gift and include one baked gift.
This is the new recipe that l tried for Christmas. It's my first attempt at fudge, and l have to say,  l'm very happy with the result. It's an easy fudge that has a smooth texture and a bit of crunch from the sprinkles l put on top. The first batch went into work with me yesterday and l got very positive feedback. This lot is going to a friend tomorrow, along with my choc orange truffles.
Why not try and make them yourselves. The recipe is:
Recipe.
3 cups of semi sweet chocolate
2 Tablespoons of butter
395g can of condensed milk.
Method.
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and place on a low heat. Allow the butter and chocolate to melt and allow to thicken slightly. Pour into a prepared tin and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to firm up.
I put chocolate sprinkles on my before l put it in the fridge, but, this is entirely optional.

So easy, so smooth and delicious and a gift l know my friend will enjoy. I'll give you my truffle recipe next week. 
Have a great weekend:)

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

You don't have to buy it

Apparently Amazon have now opened in Melbourne. I thought it was opened last week, but, something happened and today is the big opening.
Local businesses are complaining and people are saying that this store will drive so many other companies out of business.
Well, it got me thinking; just because it's here it doesn't mean l have to buy anything from it. My days of rampant consumerism were over long ago. These days l only buy what l need, l barter and buy second hand. I will continue to use my local library, and on the odd occasion that l do buy a new book l will buy it from my local bookshop.
I only want to buy local now and from companies that are good corporate citizens( that means no tax evasion or dodgy work practices). I may not have a lot to spend, but, l'm very careful where l spend it.
So Amazon is open and l will let it all just wash over me. There's more to life than Amazon.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Vote for Australia's favourite bird

If you look at the Guardian Australia's webpage you can vote for your favourite Australian bird. I did.
Many to choose from, but, for me there is only one.
The Rainbow lorikeet is a noisy, but, beautiful bird. When the gum trees at the back of our house are in bloom they come in droves. A beautiful, beautiful bird.
If you want to vote go to www.theguardian.com/au

Friday, 24 November 2017

Knowledge

I believe that learning is a life long activity. Education doesn't stop the day you leave school, and, l don't believe that gaining knowledge is ever a waste of time.
At the moment l am in the middle of an online course about Roman and Greek mythology and it's very interesting. I'm learning all about Homer and his epic poems. Next week we are moving on to other ancient myths. The course is run by the University of Pennsylvania and has weekly lectures with a weekly quiz.
You may be wondering how much all this costs and, the answer is nothing, it's free. I could pay for it and receive a certificate but that doesn't interest me. So how do this work??
This course, and many, many others can be found at Coursera. This is a web based educational site that offers free, and paid, courses covering all sorts of subjects from top universities around the world. It's great; here am l sitting in Australia listening to a lecturer from the University of Pennsylvania in America.
I think l can do up to 6 free courses a year and l'm so happy with this one that l will definitely use them again. I'm also going to take time over the summer to study zen philosophy, but that will be my own research.
I'm very grateful to Coursera for offering this service and recommend that all of you have a look, if this sort of thing interests you.
As l said at the beginning, knowledge is never wasted.

** This is not a sponsored post for Coursera and all opinions are my own.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Homemade shampoo

This is my homemade shampoo. It may not look like much, but, it's a great chemical free, all natural shampoo, and, did l mention that it only has 2 ingredients. Yep, just 2, Castile soap and coconut milk.
Oh, and it cost 84cents to make. and will last for about a month.
I already had the Castile soap so only needed to buy a small tin of coconut milk. The Castile soap is bought in bulk from a place where l can fill my own container and the shampoo itself is made in an old yoghurt container.
Nothing glamorous about this packaging. The empty tin is in the recycling and, once this lot of shampoo is finished, the yoghurt container will be washed and used again.
A simple living product that helps me live within my means, reduce my waste and lets me save my money for more important things to me; more on that later in the week.



Friday, 17 November 2017

Some good news at last


I'm in my final semester of a Bachelor course and this final bit is proving to be the hardest. I sat an exam 2 weeks ago, which l needed to pass.
Got the results this morning; have just scrapped through. YAAAAH
Now, onward to pass the final 2 subjects:)

High Tea and 91 cent yoghurt

I love going to High Tea. There's something magical about the whole experience. Each year a group of friends and l go to High Tea in Sum...